Statement from Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

(Washington D.C.) – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, released the following statement. "After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline. "Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.  We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee’s work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy. "We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us. Most importantly, we want to thank the American people for sharing thoughts and ideas and for providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task. "We would also like to thank our committee staff, in particular Staff Director Mark Prater and Deputy Staff Director Sarah Kuehl, as well as each committee member's staff for the tremendous work they contributed to this effort.  We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf and Mr. Thomas Barthold and their teams at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, for the technical support they provided to the committee and its members."

Reaction from Max Richtman, President/CEO of National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare

“The super committee’s so-called “failure” to sign off on yet another bad deal for average Americans could be the first indication that Washington has begun to listen to the American people who’ve said they don’t want their benefits cut for deficit reduction.  They’ve finally realized that it is wrong to get our budget house in order by targeting the very people hurt most by this difficult economy. The American people do want fiscal sanity returned to Washington but the vast majority of all ages and political persuasions have said Congress should not cut vital programs like Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction. They know Congress can cut the deficit without further stacking the deck against the poor and the middle class if it focuses on improving the economy and asking those who have done extremely well in the last decade to finally pay their fair share. In the past few months, hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens delivered that message during rallies, protests and marches and in email, phone and petition campaigns to Congress.  Americans were engaged in this deficit debate because they know the value of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for American families. This has become painfully evident in an economy where the middle class has already shouldered enough of the financial burden through lower home values, job loss, shrinking savings and stagnant wages. In the case of the supercommittee, failure to support a flawed deficit deal that would target our social insurance safety net while protecting the wealthy isn’t a failure at all—it could be Washington’s first successful step in closing the growing disconnect and  economic gap between America’s haves and have-nots.”  Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO And while the blame game will be in full throttle tonight and tomorrow, here is a good primer laying out the super committee time line showing just how far Democrats were willing to compromise (too far) and how little (none) the GOP was willing to give (not "one red cent" as co-chair Jeb Hensarling famously bragged).